Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dance Academy: Pressure from Parents

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Dance Academy is now running two episodes per week, so we'll likely include both in a single post as we continue to cover this old-but-new-to-the-US series. The first episode focused mainly on Kat & Ethan's mother coming to town, though Ethan is hardly seen. The dynamic of Tara ignoring her mother's calls to fawn over Kat's mother was quite realistic, though Tara dying her hair and changing the style in emulation was a bit much. What really stands out, however, was Tara and Sammy both asking Kat's advice on their outfits when she's dressed like she's going to an 80s flashdance party under blacklights. The second episode split its focus on Christian's talent vs. personality and the fact that Sammy is now crushing on Abigail. While I think that all of the choices that Christian made fit his character, I don't really know what the writers are hoping the audience gets from fleshing him out in this way. I hadn't seen the possibility of Sammy falling for Abigail, not only because of their early conflicts, but also because I hadn't really noticed him paying her any extra attention. This last part really intrigues me - have you observed Sammy to be crushing on Abigail prior to wanting to take her to the ballet in "Perfection" ?? Oh, and the part of this episode that most stood out for me? Kat taking pictures of her feet and keeping them in an album... as a tribute to the pain she goes through as a dancer. Creepy.

Dance Academy "Perfection" (S0106): We learn that, after the three years at the Academy, only two girls can hope for contracts with the company. A guest teacher has come for a week, and it turns out that she's Tara's idol... and Ethan & Kat's mom. [while I thought that Tara not knowing about the relation was possible, Kat never questioning Tara's locker pictures struck me as odd.] Tara attends the premiere backstage with Kat and brings flowers for Natasha. After the space is empty, Tara goes onstage and spins a few times, then practices bowing. [I'm surprised that Ethan didn't tease her.] Kat and Tara go to Natasha's dressing room and Natasha invites them to the matinee the next day, though Kat would prefer to go shopping. [aka use mommy's credit card.] Tara dyes her hair and puts it up like Natasha, and Abigail wastes no time making jokes. [did Tara not think that anyone would comment? It was blatantly obvious.] Kat doesn't want to go with Tara to see the matinee, so Tara goes alone, and visits Natasha's dressing room before the performance. [why? wouldn't that be incredibly awkward?] She's asked to leave and thinks little of it, but when she later overhears Natasha saying negative things about her, she leaves to call her own mother. [you know, because they have to make Tara look like a goody-goody in the end.] When we next see Tara, she has dyed her hair green over the black, and she apologizes to Kat. [while I was curious to see how long she'd have weirdo hair, it doesn't last and it's back to normal by the start of the next episode.]

Mia is back from studying in Israel and comes to the Academy to see Sammy. [...and I had completely forgotten that he had a far-off girlfriend.] Kat gives Sammy and Mia some matinee tickets, but Sammy decides to take Abigail, telling Mia that the tickets fell through. Sammy lies to Abigail and tells her that Mia can't make it because she's sick... but Mia shows up and realizes what happened. [that sucks. but what else would you expect when you're meeting in the common area. Also, is there no security at the Academy? how is Mia just coming and going as she pleases?]

Dance Academy "Crush Test Dummies" (S0107): Christian leads in hip-hop class. Tara makes Ethan a mix CD, then tells Kat that she just can't stop thinking about Ethan. [we're back to this again? Tara, you told yourself that you need to take away distractions but it seems like you are creating even more of them!] Ethan invites Christian to dance in his hip-hop choreography project, but Christian doesn't want to do more than what is required. [completely expected.] Ethan blackmails him, so between that and the opportunity to blow off classes to rehearse & perform, Christian goes. He doesn't find Ethan's story realistic and doesn't care for the choreography, so he takes Ethan to see some real hip-hop and  breakdancing. Ethan tries to get some help from a girl dancer, but when one of the guys there gives Ethan a look, Christian decides it's time to go. [tho I don't know why Christian didn't explain the situation to Ethan...] Ethan thanks Tara for the CD - he's using one of the tracks for his project. [they are just the most awkward couple of kids EVER. but maybe teenagers just act very differently in 2010 Australia than they did in the 90s in America...]  Abigail insults Christian, then Ethan tells him how important the project is - which causes him to head to the beach and go surfing, blowing off Christian. [as much as it fits in with Christian's character, it's still pretty disappointing. And that "all the rehearsals" thing? If Christian was only cast the day before, exactly how many rehearsals could they have had??] Ethan takes off to find the hip-hop girl and ask her to be in the project. Christian returns and is filled in by his project partner, then high-tails it to the park, where the guys are robbing Ethan. Ethan loses his jacket and bag and gets into a fight, but Christian goes back with him and dances the part. [which I suppose is impressive? Not sure.]

While all of this is going on, Tara and Sammy are dealing with crushes. Kat doesn't believe that falling for someone can affect you so deeply, but both claim it happens. Samuel begins to tell Kat about his lust for Abigail, but it comes off to Kat as if he likes her, so that has to get squashed. Then, Kat thinks that Sammy likes Tara, but when Tara confronts Sammy, he tells her it's someone else. [why did he ever bring it up if he's going to try to keep it a secret now?] Well, the girls are determined to find out who the object of Samuel's affection is, so they decide to tickle him until he reveals the girl... Abigail. [and I just sit here shaking my head...]
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